I am interested in collecting STAR NOTES. What should I be looking for to establish a good collection? Are there books or publications I can read to help me?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Bob Crawford

Steve DeGennaro's picture

I might be able to make some suggestions depending on additional information.

Small size or Large size. Circulated or Uncirculated and what Denomination ?


Steve in Tampa



If you are interested in large size Star Notes, Doug Murray's The Complete Catalog of United States Large Size Star Notes 1910-1929, 3rd Edition, is a great reference with lots of information, in addition to a census of known large size stars.


In the last 5-8 years, large size star note collecting has become much more popular and prices have risen accordingly. Except for more common type notes and a few other notes, Uncirculated examples are uncommon or may not exist. Sometimes only a few examples are known and even lower grade notes are something worth pursuing. But, as with any area of currency collecting, try to buy the nicest examples you can find (which may be a Fine for one Fr.# and a Gem CU for another).


You used to be able to find large stars on ebay and in Heritage weekly auctions. Now, these typically show up in major auctions, or on ebay at high fixed prices. Absent a large budget, you may want to specialize in certain types.


If small size stars are what you are looking to collect, the Schwartz/Lindquist Standard Guide to Small Size U. S. Paper Money 1928 to Date, 10th Edition is essential. Unlike large size stars which are only found for some post 1910 large size issues, most small size types and series have star notes.

No definitive Star specific books exist and Census information such as Track and Price are very very incomplete for small size notes and small stars. Again, depending on the note, small stars may be very common to exceedingly rare. As a general rule, you should pursue higher grade stars notes, and for more modern (post 1950) or common star issues, you should probably avoid most circulated examples. 

Small size collecting is a huge field and just as one would specialize for non-star notes, you should probably do the same for collecting star issues.



For small size star notes up until 2006 other than Lunquists book you will find that Robert Azpiazu Book on Collecting Modern Federal Reserve Notes 1963 - 2009 a great help he shows print runs of stars and has text on the rarer stars as well.

For the more modern stars 2009 through 2013 the only source to find out how many notes and the print runs for each star that there are you could go to this web site  This provides a wealth of information on print runs that the BEP has printed.